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Hearty Oxtail Soup Recipe
Hearty Oxtail Soup Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Hearty Oxtail Soup Recipe

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I created this recipe on the spur of the moment for a friend who was coming to visit. I knew she enjoyed soup, so I decided to liven up my usual vegetable soup by adding oxtails. Little did I know, oxtails were her favorite and she hadn't had them for years! Was she pleased when I sent the leftovers home with her!
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Bake: 3-1/4 min.
MAKES:24 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Bake: 3-1/4 min.
MAKES: 24 servings


  • 2 pounds oxtails or meaty beef shanks
  • 1-1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup sliced leeks
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 4 beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 quarts water
  • 1 cup medium pearl barley
  • Chopped fresh parsley


  1. In a stockpot, saute the oxtails, carrots, onion, celery, leeks and green pepper in butter until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add the tomatoes, bouillon, seasonings and water. Bring to a boil. Skim off any foam. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 2-3 hours or until the meat is tender.
  2. Stir in barley; cover and continue to simmer until tender, about 1 hour. Add additional water if necessary.
  3. Remove oxtails; set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove meat from bones; discard bones and cut meat into cubes. Return meat to soup. Garnish with parsley. Yield: 24 servings (6 quarts).
Originally published as Hearty Oxtail Soup in Reminisce Extra April 1993, p49

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Reviewed Jan. 22, 2015

"Awesome recipe. I added more seasonings b/c I doubled the recipe."

Reviewed Oct. 26, 2014

"Using 2 cans beef broth instead of bouillon cubes and a mere 2 cups of water to begin with with a clove of garlic (crushed) instead of garlic powder - also increased the amount of chopped onion instead of using onion powder. Will see how it tastes halfway through the simmering and will add more beef broth (better if I had stock) and S&P if necessary - before I add the barley and cover it up again."

Reviewed Jun. 24, 2011

"I decrease the water to 4 quarts,add more bouiilon cubes and,and measure the salt(1-2tsp) When I made it as stated it was too bland."

Reviewed Jun. 16, 2011

"This is a great soup with good flavor! Lots of good comments from the family. It is easy to make you just need to let it simmer for 3-4 hours and take out the bones...that's the hardest part. Also, it is very economical especially if you buy your beef in bulk (1/4, 1/2 or whole cow) as you don't have to pay extra for this at the store. I just tell the butcher I want the oxtail when I have the beef processed. Make for dinner and freeze the rest."

Reviewed Nov. 17, 2009

"easy to make good flavor"

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